Hundreds of employees across Hillcrest Healthcare’s three Knoxville communities have received incentive payments totaling more than $250,000 for their commitment and efforts during the ongoing pandemic.
Hillcrest Healthcare’s leadership and board of directors created the financial incentive to honor more than 500 employees and show them appreciation in a meaningful way. Both part-time and full-time employees who have been with the company since early May or longer will receive the payments, including those in non-medical roles such as maintenance and administration.
“Our teams have worked so hard since the beginning of the pandemic, with many continuing to take on extra responsibilities, hours and shifts and stepping up for our residents,” said Barry Davis, president and CEO of Hillcrest Healthcare. “Not only have they been on the front lines of the defense against COVID-19, but they also have kept up our residents’ spirits and bolstered each other.”
Employees are following extra voluntary precautions and underwent training to protect and support patients against COVID-19. Hillcrest’s medical employees agreed to work at only one facility to guard against cross-infection, per industry best practices and recommendations. To reduce risk of outside contamination, employees also agreed to eat meals provided on-site, which meant they didn’t leave the healthcare facilities for multiple shifts.
Staff members learned new skills and adjusted quickly in order to support the increased workload and need for individualized resident services due to COVID-19. Employees were trained to serve meals in rooms, to conduct virtual visits and even to give residents manicures as a fun individual activity.
“This is what makes us Hillcrest Strong,” Davis said. “Our employees are our heroes, and we are grateful that we are able to show it in an impactful way.”
The incentives were based on length of service and employment status, with most employees serving since the pandemic began receiving gross payments up to $550.
Hillcrest Healthcare Communities Inc. operates three skilled nursing, rehabilitation and long-term care facilities in Knoxville. With 560 beds and more than 500 employees, Hillcrest Healthcare is the largest provider of skilled nursing care in Knoxville, with locations north, south and west. Chartered in 1960 as a 501(c)(3) organization, Hillcrest Healthcare continues its mission to provide long-term care and skilled nursing home beds to the citizens of Knox and surrounding counties.
Diana Fisher, BSW, LNHA, is director of business development at Hillcrest Healthcare.